CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — Skiers and snowboarders will have exciting new terrain to explore at Sugarloaf this season, thanks to a land deal with Plum Creek Timber Company that will allow the resort to open new section of the mountain.

The land acquisition was completed this summer, bringing roughly seven acres of terrain on the backside of Sugarloaf Mountain into the ski area boundary.

“It’s a really cool area near the summit,” said Sugarloaf Communications Manager Ethan Austin. “It’s been sort of a local secret for a long time.”

“Skiers and snowboarders have been asking us to allow them access to these areas for years,” said Sugarloaf Vice President of Mountain Operations Rich Wilkinson in a recent press release. “But we never owned the land, so it simply wasn’t possible. This land deal allows us to offer controlled access to this area and ensure that anyone who ventures out there knows just what they’re getting into.”

Located on the Backside Snowfields, the new patch of terrain has a lot to offer ambitious and experienced skiers and snowboarders.

“It will be the most challenging terrain anywhere on our mountain,” Austin said. “It’s steep back there, it’s exposed, and some of those lines have small cliff drops you can’t get around.”

Due to the extreme nature of the terrain, Sugarloaf plans to install a gate system — similar to backcountry gates found at western ski areas — and signs warning recreationists that the area is for experts only.

The area — which has yet to be given an official name — features several steep chutes, which had been locally known for years by names like “Awesome,” “Ball and Chain,” “Adrenaline” and “Hell’s Gate.”

“This is great news for the people who like to ski back there,” Austin said, “because they can do it legally now.”

For information about Sugarloaf, visit

Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn Sarnacki is a Maine outdoors writer and the author of three Maine hiking guidebooks including “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine.” Find her on Twitter and Facebook @1minhikegirl. You can also...